Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that if sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive, and objectively offensive to a reasonable person, has the effect of creating a hostile or stressful living, learning, or working environment, or whenever toleration of such conduct or rejection of it is the basis for an academic or employment decision affecting an individual.
Conduct is considered “unwelcome” if the person did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive. Sexual harassment includes any conduct or incident that is sufficiently serious that it is likely to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs or a faculty or staff member’s ability to work, which may include a single incident of sexual assault or other serious sexual misconduct.
The following non-exhaustive list includes examples of behavior that could be considered sexual harassment:
Unwelcome sexual innuendo, propositions, sexual attention, or suggestive comments and gestures.
Unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, such as touching, hugging, kissing, patting, or pinching, that is uninvited and unwanted or unwelcome by the other person.
Humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits; sexual slurs or derogatory language directed at another person’s sexuality or gender.
Insults and threats based on sex or gender; and other oral, written, or electronic communications of a sexual nature that a person communicates and that are unwelcome.
Written graffiti or the display or distribution of sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; sexually charged name-calling; sexual rumors or ratings of sexual activity/performance; the circulation, display, or creation of e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.
Non-academic display or circulation of written materials or pictures degrading to a person(s) or gender group.
Unwelcome attention, such as repeated inappropriate flirting, inappropriate or repetitive compliments about clothing or physical attributes, staring, or making sexually oriented gestures.
Change of academic or employment responsibilities (increase in difficulty or decrease of responsibility) based on sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
Use of a position of power or authority to: (i) threaten or punish, either directly or by implication, for refusing to tolerate harassment, for refusing to submit to sexual activity, or for reporting harassment; or (ii) promise rewards in return for sexual favors.
Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping.
Whether sexual harassment is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to violate University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy may depend on a number of factors. Not all inappropriate or unwanted sexual conduct is considered sexual harassment. However, a person should not be discouraged from reporting unwelcomed sexual conduct simply because they are uncertain whether it meets the definition of severe, pervasive or persistent enough to constitute a policy violation. That is a determination for the University’s Title IX Coordinator to make. A person reporting sexual harassment in good faith will never be disciplined or retaliated against.